Annoying, annoying, ANNOYING ice cream truck update.

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James Kibo Parry

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Aug 21, 2002, 4:21:22 AM8/21/02
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Long-time readers will be aware that for the past two months, some of
us have been stalked by ice cream trucks playing some sort of mutant
tune through loudspeakers, some alien form of music which is unrecognizable
as anything in particular except THE MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE WORLD.

At the moment, Boston's in the middle of a heat wave, so the ice cream
truck hasn't been coming 'round much lately, but it still shows up every
few days.

Well, today I may have cracked the case.

I was watching TV late at night. Cable feed "A" was showing a rerun
of Conan O'Brien's show from last week. Oddly, something had happened
to this episode between last week and tonight -- the show's music
sounded fine, and I could hear the audience just fine, but Conan was
almost inaudible. (Max too.) Somehow NBC has invented a technology
to digitally remove all the talking from talk show reruns so that we
can just listen to:

"HAHAHAHAHAHA (long pause) HEHHEH (long pause) WOOOOOOO!!! (music)"

...so, rather than watching the broken rerun, I switched to cable feed "B",
which had "Tom & Jerry" cartoons from back when Hitler was alive.
During one of the commercial breaks, there was an advertisement for
one of those CDs of a hundred songs kids can sing in the car to make
you deliberately ram the car into a telephone pole, and the fragments
they played in the commercial had charming lyrics like "The eentsy-weentsy
spider went up the waterspout..." and "The babies on the bus go
WAAH WAAH WAAH, WAAH WAAH WAAH, WAAH WAAH WAAH!" (I guess they didn't
want to have to pay royalties to the people who own the words "itsy-bitsy"
and "wheels".) One of the snippets of annoying songs was one where I
had never before heard the lyrics, but the tune was disturbingly familiar...

...the chorus was similar to "Loch Lomond" with mangled scansion,
just like the ice-cream truck. While the kids were singing, the title
"Down By The Station" scrolled up the screen. So I immediately switched
the TV from the creepy songs back to Silent Conan and then ran to Google.com
(it was a short trip) to do a search. And wouldn't you know it,
my tax dollars paid the Federal government to help me identify this tune:

[from http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/station.htm]
->
-> Down by the Station
->
-> Written by: Lee Ricks and Slim Gaillard - (C) 1948
->
-> Down by the station
-> Early in the morning
-> See the little pufferbellies
-> All in a row
->
-> See the station master
-> Turn the little handle
-> Puff, puff, toot, toot
-> Off we go!
->
-> Down by the station
-> Early in the morning
-> See the little pufferbellies
-> All in a row
->
-> See the station master
-> Turn the little handle
-> Puff, puff, toot, toot
-> Off we go!

The Web page plays a shrill arrangement of the song in an eternal loop,
just like the ice cream truck. It's a bit different -- the truck's
tune lacks the mellow intro, and also has that odd "Coming 'Round The
Mountain" part at the end -- but overall I'd say that this STUPID AND
ANNOYING SONG is the primary inspiration for the ice cream truck's
even ANNOYING AND STUPID SONG.

The truck has more percussion and I think they replaced "Puff, puff,
toot, toot" with "CLAP CLAP CLAP! TWEET TWEET TWEET!" or two other
triplets of sonic irritation. And, of course, the truck yells
"AYLO!!!" between repetitions of the song.

(Odd, Conan has suddenly started saying "ik ik ik... ik ik... ik ik ik ik,
ik ik ik... ik ik ik, ik ik." Apparently now NBC has decided to only
transmit one phoneme to keep their costs down.)

Next question: WHY do so many ice cream trucks play deformed versions
of this already-rotten song about "little pufferbellies"?

-- K.

It would be a better song if they
changed "little handle" to "steering wheel"
and "station master" to "pirate".

However, no song has ever been improved
by "WAAH WAAH WAAH! WAAH WAAH WAAH!
WAAH WAAH WAAH!"

(And while I was finishing typing this,
the power went out, ruining the tape
I was making of Defective Conan so
now I'll only be able to tie up the
ice cream truck driver and make him
watch half a tape of "ik ik ik ik ik".
This is Kibo, signing off, somewhere
in total darkness.)

James Kibo Parry

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Aug 21, 2002, 4:45:09 AM8/21/02
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I just wrote:
>
> I was watching TV late at night. Cable feed "A" was showing a rerun
> of Conan O'Brien's show from last week. Oddly, something had happened
> to this episode between last week and tonight -- the show's music
> sounded fine, and I could hear the audience just fine, but Conan was
> almost inaudible. (Max too.) Somehow NBC has invented a technology
> to digitally remove all the talking from talk show reruns [...]

Important correction:

I couldn't hear Max because Max wasn't in tonight's rerun, he's on
tour with Bruce Springsteen. Jimmy is the temporary bandleader.
I wasn't paying enough attention to notice because (a) it was a rerun
I had seen six days ago, (b) I was concentrating on my research into
evil ice cream truck music, and (c) there wasn't anything to pay
attention to because the show had been reduced to uncomfortable silences
with a laugh track.

-- K.

Maybe they could combine this episode
with "Resurrection of the Daleks" and
get one show with a whole soundtrack.

On the other hand, any of Conan's robots
(the "Late Night" hospitality robot, the robot
on the toilet, PimpBot 5000, and HunkBot)
could destroy all the Daleks in the first
thirty seconds. I guess the rest of the
episode would be Peter Davison cooking
bangers and mash for Conan.

Jacob W. Haller

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Aug 21, 2002, 10:33:46 AM8/21/02
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James "Kibo" Parry <ki...@world.std.com> wrote:

> Next question: WHY do so many ice cream trucks play deformed versions
> of this already-rotten song about "little pufferbellies"?

Because Slim Gaillard is HIP, man! He's the root-toot-tootingest!

Slim Gaillard is so HIP that even Bob Hope and Marlene Dietrich know
it's HIP to make references to him!

Bob Hope: "What do you think of Slim Gaillard?"
Marlene Dietrich: "Vout."

I think that instead of "Down By The Station" the ice cream truck should
play "The Bartender's Just Like My Mother To Me":

| Oh the Bartender is just like a mother,
| and I know he's man's best friend,
| cause he passes the pretzels and peanuts,
| to the guy all alone on the end
| Whenever my wife comes huntin', he says "no, he hasn't been in",
| Oh the Bartender is just like a mother to me, and I am his
| favorite kin.

But that might be a little to EDGY for today's youth! So maybe "Yip Roc
Heresy" would be a better choice, because heresy is always cool, and so
is being completely unintelligible!

| Yep ruk hu'reesee
| Ku'bisinee e kubu'ba
| U'lu hu'mish u mak voutee
| Yep ruk hu'reesee
| U luh mish wey u luh mish voutee
| U luh mish u ruenimoa

I would call you "Kiboreenie" now, except that THEN there would be an
ENDLESS DISCUSSION of how to proNOUNCE it.

-jwgh

--
"It is a wondrous human characteristic to be able to slip into and out
of idiocy many times a day without noticing the change or accidentally
killing innocent bystanders in the process."
- Scott Adams, /The Dilbert Principle/

Aldo Pignotti

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Aug 21, 2002, 1:04:16 PM8/21/02
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>
> At the moment, Boston's in the middle of a heat wave, so the ice cream
> truck hasn't been coming 'round much lately, but it still shows up every
> few days.

For a break from the heat, head up to Canobie Lake in New Hampster.
They have a real live Bozo the Clown (TM). He drives around in
a golf cart and tries to run over small children. He sounds like
he's had a gallon of cough syrup a day for the past twenty years.
Also, they have an attraction called the Boston Tea that dumps
large amounts of water on everyone near the ride. We're talking
white trash trailer park girls in wet tee shirts here, Mister.
Large numbers of them squealing and jumping up and down.

David DeLaney

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Aug 21, 2002, 9:47:12 PM8/21/02
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James "Kibo" Parry <ki...@world.std.com> wrote:
>(Odd, Conan has suddenly started saying "ik ik ik... ik ik... ik ik ik ik,
>ik ik ik... ik ik ik, ik ik." Apparently now NBC has decided to only
>transmit one phoneme to keep their costs down.)

Er, that's not NBC as such. That's just you forgetting you don't have cable,
you actually have streaming video captured from webcams focussed on the
neighborhoods' television sets in toto. And your connection's been reset
by pee^H^H^HConmidhe.

> However, no song has ever been improved
> by "WAAH WAAH WAAH! WAAH WAAH WAAH!
> WAAH WAAH WAAH!"

Counterexample: the Charlie Brown Xmas song, Snoopy's whateveritis, that
Schroeder played.

> (And while I was finishing typing this,
> the power went out, ruining the tape
> I was making of Defective Conan so
> now I'll only be able to tie up the
> ice cream truck driver and make him
> watch half a tape of "ik ik ik ik ik".
> This is Kibo, signing off, somewhere
> in total darkness.)

Dave "yes, he's posting to Usenet via abacus by candlelight. And you tell the
kids these days that, and..." DeLaney
--
\/David DeLaney posting from d...@vic.com "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
http://www.vic.com/~dbd/ - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.

Joseph Michael Bay

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Aug 21, 2002, 10:30:31 PM8/21/02
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ki...@world.std.com (James "Kibo" Parry) writes:


> However, no song has ever been improved
> by "WAAH WAAH WAAH! WAAH WAAH WAAH!
> WAAH WAAH WAAH!"

Yes, but "Let's Get It On" wouldn't be nearly as cool
if it didn't have "WAAH WAAH WAAH WAAAAAAH" in the beginning.

--
Joseph M. Bay Lamont Sanford Junior University
www.stanford.edu/~jmbay/ DO NOT PRESS

Wiblur the Once

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Aug 21, 2002, 10:47:32 PM8/21/02
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On 21 Aug 2002 10:04:16 -0700, Aldo Pignotti mumbled something about...

> For a break from the heat, head up to Canobie Lake in New Hampster.
> They have a real live Bozo the Clown (TM). He drives around in
> a golf cart and tries to run over small children. He sounds like
> he's had a gallon of cough syrup a day for the past twenty years.
> Also, they have an attraction called the Boston Tea that dumps
> large amounts of water on everyone near the ride. We're talking
> white trash trailer park girls in wet tee shirts here, Mister.
> Large numbers of them squealing and jumping up and down.

While that does sound attractive, up in Portland, they have EXTREMO THE
CLOWN. He drives the only car I know of that has a giant, drooling face
on top (that drools real water)! If you're ever up there and see him
driving by, stop him and say hello, he will b0rk you brane for life.

-----

"...The job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which
strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater
than the need for an answer."
- Ken Kesey

http://www.aros.net/~jchapman/Kibologists/Kibo.html

Chris ''Koala3K'' Slat

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Aug 21, 2002, 11:19:09 PM8/21/02
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In article <kibo-21080...@ppp0b150.std.com>,

ki...@world.std.com (James "Kibo" Parry) wrote:

> ...so, rather than watching the broken rerun, I switched to cable feed "B",
> which had "Tom & Jerry" cartoons from back when Hitler was alive.
> During one of the commercial breaks, there was an advertisement for
> one of those CDs of a hundred songs kids can sing in the car to make
> you deliberately ram the car into a telephone pole, and the fragments
> they played in the commercial had charming lyrics like "The eentsy-weentsy
> spider went up the waterspout..." and "The babies on the bus go
> WAAH WAAH WAAH, WAAH WAAH WAAH, WAAH WAAH WAAH!" (I guess they didn't
> want to have to pay royalties to the people who own the words "itsy-bitsy"
> and "wheels".)

Microsoft, no doubt.

--Koala3K

-----------------------------------------------------------
"Don't forget... your lucky deck!"
--Jack Palance to Jack Nicholson in "Batman."
(best movie quote ever)
-----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.tdi.net/cslat

Susan Parry Whelchel

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Aug 25, 2002, 8:43:15 AM8/25/02
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James Kibo Parry wrote:

> ...the chorus was similar to "Loch Lomond" with mangled scansion,
> just like the ice-cream truck. While the kids were singing, the title
> "Down By The Station" scrolled up the screen.

For baby boomers, that song has a long history:

In the early fifties, one of the morning television shows was "Miss
Frances." It beat "Romper Room" in style, not that that wasn't easy
to do. Anyway, Miss Frances started the show everyday singing that
song. IIRC, she had a xylophone for the toot, toot part.
At that time, she also had a story book out, which I just adored. There
was a story in it about a little girl getting ready for bed and I
used to act the story out in the evenings. I tried to find the book
last year, but was unable too.

I also remember a little whistling train my daughter had that went
endlessly in circles while "playing" that song.

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